McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

first_imgFormer boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson sits in the Pittsburgh Pirates dugout as he waits to throw out the first pitch before a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Hitting was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ weakness coming into the season yet they lead the major leagues in home runs through the first 16 games of the season.Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.The Pirates have hit 23 homers despite allowing first baseman Justin Morneau and right fielder Marlon Byrd to leave as free agents last winter. What encouraged manager Clint Hurdle the most was that three of the four homers on Thursday night were of the multi-run variety.“It’s good to know you can strike quickly but we need to hit a few more with men on base like we did tonight rather than just solos,” Hurdle said.Of course, the Pirates would have more multi-run homers if they could improve upon a .304 on-base percentage.“That has been priority No. 1 since the first day of spring training,” Hurdle said. “We need to raise the on-base percentage.”Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter. It stared Pittsburgh’s nine-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings that was capped by Alvarez’s sixth of the year.Hurdle wanted Harrison to bunt Jordy Mercer up to second base after he led off the inning with a single. However, Harrison failed to sacrifice then made it up for it.“That’s why baseball is a crazy game,” Harrison said. “One second, I didn’t the job done and then the next second I put us ahead with a home run.“I don’t hit a lot of home runs but I do know if you hit the ball down the left field line (at PNC Park) that you have a chance,” he said. “I knew I hit it hard.”Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (22) is greeted as he crosses home plate by teammate Starling Marte (6) after hitting a two-run home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)McCutchen, last year’s NL MVP, hit a two-run homer in the first inning in his 57th at-bat.Gaby Sanchez also connected while Alvarez, Starling Marte, Russell Martin and Jordy Mercer each had two of the Pirates’ 12 hits.Edinson Volquez (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings for his first win with the Pirates, scattering eight hits.“It’s a great feeling to get that first W for the Pittsburgh Pirates,” Volquez said. “That’s why they brought me here, to win games, so I feel like I did my job this time.”Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett had two hits each for Milwaukee, which had won its first six road games. The Brewers have lost three of four since a nine-game winning streak.Wooten relieved starter Yovani Gallardo to start the seventh. Harrison connected when he was pinch-hitting for Volquez, who signed a one-year, $5-milion contract with the Pirates in December as a free agent.Gallardo allowed two runs and three in six innings with four walks and six strikeouts. However, Wooten allowed three runs while getting only one out and rookie left-hander Wei-Chung Wang was hammered for six runs in 2-3 of an inning as the Brewers bullpen’s ERA rose from a major league-best 1.33 to 3.16.After Harrison’s homer put the Pirates ahead 4-2, McCutchen made it a three-run lead with a fielder’s choice grounder.“That’s by far the most disappointed I’ve been in myself in professional baseball at any level,” Wooten said. “I don’t have the words to describe it. It’s embarrassing.”NOTES: Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay was placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to a boy on Thursday morning in Milwaukee and INF-OF Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. … Pirates OF Jose Tabata, who had a pinch-hit RIB double in the eighth, passed all concussion protocols Thursday morning, a day after leaving a game in Cincinnati in the fourth inning when he ran into the scoreboard while making a catch. .. Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (2-1, 3.05) is scheduled to pitch Friday night against Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (0-1, 3.32).last_img read more

The Opinionated Spectator…Pittsburgh Steelers are restoring order

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers fans hold a giant Terrible Towel in the stands before the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The entire city of Pittsburgh just had Thanksgiving early. We feasted in fine fashion.The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 43-23. It wasn’t that the Steelers won that is noteworthy. It was the way that the Steelers won. The Steelers beat Baltimore like they were in a third world country.Alexis Sara CobbOn a night when the Steelers retired “Mean” Joe Greene’s No. 75, the Steelers played good old-fashioned Steelers football. They played smash-mouth, intimidating, and blisteringly furious football. The game was vintage. I didn’t know that when we turned back the clocks an hour, we would be turning back time. Vintage Brilliance.Quick recap. The first quarter started and the Ravens were imposing their will on the Steelers and the Steelers offense was not in rhythm. The second quarter started and Ben got sacked three times on three consecutive plays. It wasn’t pretty. And then the Steelers defense started playing like they had good sense. They forced a fumble and an interception. James Harrison led the defense with two sacks, four brutalizing hits on Flacco and protected the house long enough for the offense to awaken. He was brilliant.Finally, the offense got in rhythm. Scratch that. Our running game was nonexistent. But Ben Roethlisberger shook off those hard jolting hits and played like he was teaching a clinic on how to be Hall of Fame quarterback. After the second quarter the game was never in doubt.For the second week in a row, Roethlisberger threw for six touchdowns. This time to five different targets. Now that takes superior skill. Every receiver was chomping at the bit trying to be the next player to get in the end zone. It was gloriously fun to see him make history.“I don’t think any of us are surprised by anything he does,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Roethlisberger. “We have been looking at it for some time.”The 12 touchdown passes over the last two games broke the mark of 11 set by Tom Flores for Oakland in the AFL in 1963 and matched by New England’s Tom Brady in 2007. Congrats, Ben. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that your contract year is next year. Nothing at all. Just you playing some beautiful football. Excellent work.Meanwhile, the Raven’s quarterback, Joe Flacco got hit so many times that he wasn’t even looking downfield anymore. He was just curling up trying to protect himself from the rushes, sacks, and hurries. Flacco was sacked four times, threw an interception, hit numerously and felt pressure all night. It was not a night to remember for him. Instead, it is one that he will happily try to forget.I was watching Flacco get hit like I was a fat kid in a free candy line. It was delectable. That was how Pittsburgh Steelers are supposed to play football. The Ravens’ defense was angry and trying to fight. It was cute. Grown men acting like children because their pride was hurt.When the Steeler lost to Cleveland Browns earlier, they were last in their division and sitting at 3-3. Currently, the Steelers are second in their division and are 6-3. They are ahead of Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. Order is being restored.Next week, the Steelers play the New York Jets (1-8). Now that’s going to be some fine dining.(Source for this story was AP)Alexis Sara Cobb may be reached at: [email protected] or (724) 561-8082 Follow her on Twitter: @alexissaralast_img read more

Leafs open training camp for upcoming KIJHL season

first_imgThe race to knock off Beaver Valley as champions in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League begins this weekend for the Nelson Leafs Hockey Club. Coach Frank Maida opens camp on the 2012-13 season Friday at the NDCC Arena. Camp runs all weekend as Maida and Company evaluate players for the upcoming season.The Leafs break camp Sunday before playing both Castlegar and Beaver Valley in a pair of home-and-home exhibition series.The preseason opens Tuesday at the NDCC Arena against Beaver Valley.The Leafs begin regular season action Friday, September 14 with a two-game, home-and-home series against rival Castlegar Rebels.Leaf fans get their first look at the defending KIJHL champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks Saturday, September 29 at the NDCC Arena.last_img read more

Proctor golfer Jackie Little reaches quarterfinals of U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship

first_imgCanadian Jackie Little of Proctor lost to Patricia Cornett, 63, of Mill Valley, Calif. 2-and-1 in quarterfinal round play last week at the 56th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore.Little was one of four Canadians advancing into the quarterfinal round of the elite U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament.The five-time winner of the British Columbia Women’s Amateur and British Columbia Senior Women’s Amateur led for the early part of the match before Cornett took the lead for good on the ninth hole.Cornett held a two-up advantage through 15 holes before Little closed to within one on the 16th. However, Cornett got that lead right back with a birdie on the 17th while Little registered a par.Judith Kyrinis of Thornhill, Ont., defeated fellow Canadian Terrill Samuel, of Etobicoke, Ont, 4-and-3 to capture the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.This is the third time Little has played in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, previously advancing to the Round of 16 (2008) and Round of 32 (2009).Little, formerly of Port Alberni, is a member of the Golf Hall of Fame of British Columbia (2009), Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame (2012) and the PNGA Hall of Fame (2017).She and her husband, Pat, have two children, Robert and Janine, and formerly owned the Hollies Executive Golf Course in CanadaRob is manager at the Adventure Hotel in Nelson.last_img read more

Guide: what you can do on Mandela Day

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Foundation encourages people to carry out their volunteer work for the long term, starting on Mandela Day.“The Nelson Mandela Foundation felt it would be useful to issue the guide for the first time this year, especially as we have changed the way in which Mandela Day is observed,” says Ffoundation CEO Sello Hatang. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterIn time for Nelson Mandela International Day (known as Mandela Day) on 18 July, which has become synonymous with charitable work, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has compiled a handy guide if you are wondering what you can do with your time.The emphasis, though, is not to limit your contribution to 67 minutes but rather to make charitable work a regular occurrence. That way, there will be a long-term positive effect on those who are being helped.No matter how small the action, you can help to change the world. Lend a helping hand to those less fortunate everyday #ActionAgainstPoverty pic.twitter.com/Oe8lkdfeRR— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) July 16, 2017“The manual is intended to help people who don’t really know how they to contribute or volunteer during Mandela Month, as July has typically become known,” said Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.“The Nelson Mandela Foundation felt it would be useful to issue the guide for the first time this year, especially as we have changed the way in which Mandela Day is observed.”Hatang said that instead of volunteering 67 minutes on 18 July as had become the norm, the foundation was calling on South Africans and those around the world to take action throughout the year.The foundation was grateful to everyone who had given 67 minutes of their time on the day in the past, but, “it became increasingly troubling for us as the Nelson Mandela Foundation that the Mandela Day campaign serves as a momentary relief for recipients”.The day — 18 July — should be the start of taking action, he said, not the end. “We want South Africans and those around the world to commit to long-term, regular projects that will tackle poverty.”Watch:Here’s the list of suggestions, outlining practical things to do, from the foundation:Make stationery packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc.) for teachers at an under-resourced school;Sort donated clothes at U-turn or The Warehouse, but call before time to organise, the foundation advises;Volunteer your time at a Haven Night Shelter;Find your nearest fixed donor site and give blood;Offer to fix things at a local school or organisation;Help to build a home with Habitat for Humanity’s International Mandela Day Build Week;Donate educational materials to Breadline Africa;Organise a fun outing for children in an HIV/Aids programme;Make “care kits”, including items such as a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, and so on, for patients at a government hospital;Throw a tea party for the children and carers at a children’s home;Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice;Hold a teddy bear or book drive for a children’s home;Teach someone how to use a computer and the internet;Tutor someone who needs help learning your mother tongue;Donate your old computer to an under-resourced school;Tutor pupils from under-resourced schools;Donate books to your local library; and,Offer to attend a high school class to talk to students about your career.About the dayThe United Nations officially declared 18 July, the day of Mandela’s birth, as Nelson Mandela International Day. It is a “global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact”.Source: The Nelson Mandela FoundationWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Open-Cell Spray Foam and Damp Roof Sheathing

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img UPDATED on July 8, 2015Now that insulation contractors have been installing spray foam insulation on the underside of roof sheathing for several years, we’re beginning to accumulate anecdotes and data on successful installations and failed installations. The anecdotes and data are enough to provide a few rules of thumb for designers and builders who want to install spray foam on the underside of roof sheathing.Increasingly, building scientists are investigating why OSB roof sheathing on many spray-foam-insulated roofs stays damp for months at a time. Most of these damp-sheathing problems involve open-cell foam rather than closed-cell foam.I’ve been reporting on wet-sheathing problems arising from the use of open-cell spray foam since 2005, when I wrote two articles on the topic for Energy Design Update (“Vapor Retarders and Icynene,” April 2005, and “Every Failure Holds a Lesson,” July 2005). As originally understood, the problem with open-cell foam was that it is vapor-permeable, and therefore allows moisture in the interior air to diffuse through the insulation and reach the cold roof sheathing during the winter.Five years later, Mark Parlee, an Iowa builder, wrote a seminal article on an Icynene-insulated roof with rotten roof sheathing. His article, “Repairing a Rotting Roof,” was published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Light Construction. One of the factors that contributed to the failure described by Parlee was high indoor humidity.At a recent building science conference in Florida (Conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII, December 1-4, 2013), two academic papers were presented that shed light on questions surrounding the moisture content of roof sheathing that has been insulated on the underside with spray polyurethane foam.One paper discussed a field study that found that even in a relatively warm climate (South Carolina), roof sheathing can accumulate moisture when open-cell… last_img read more

Blazing Indians extend win streak to 19 straight

first_imgCleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor scores on a sacrifice fly by Jose Ramirez against the Detroit Tigers during the second inning in a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)CLEVELAND — Unrelenting and unbeatable at the moment, the Cleveland Indians refuse to lose.With their latest overpowering win, they extended baseball’s longest winning streak since 2002 to 19 games with an 11-0 blowout of the Detroit Tigers on Monday night to move closer to a record that has stood for 101 years.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Francisco Lindor tripled home three runs off rookie Myles Jaye (0-1) in the second inning, and the Indians, who haven’t lost since Aug. 23, added another blowout to their growing list of lopsided conquests.The defending AL champions aren’t just rolling, they’re steamrolling opponents, outscoring them 132-32 during a stretch that includes six shutouts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCarlos Carrasco (15-6) struck out nine in six innings, Lindor had four RBIs and Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer as the Indians lowered their magic number to clinch the Central to six.Cleveland is the sixth team in history to win at least 19 straight, and the streak is the longest since the 2002 Oakland Athletics won 20 in a row — a run that was celebrated in the film “Moneyball.” BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Read Next View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  LATEST STORIES The Indians can match those A’s on Tuesday, and their chances of getting No. 20 are strong with AL Cy Young Award contender Corey Kluber starting.At this point, it hardly matters who’s on the mound.Cleveland joined the 1906 Chicago White Sox (19), the 1947 New York Yankees (19), the 2002 A’s (20), the 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and the 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams to reel off 19 consecutive wins. The Giants’ record run is in the books as the major league mark, although it did include a tie, which does not count as an official game in baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.Even tying these Indians during a game has been nearly impossible.Cleveland has trailed in only four of 171 innings, scored first in 18 of 19 games and has hit 38 homers. In a season where other teams have displayed dominance, the Indians stand alone.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kluber is 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA in his last eight starts. The right-hander, who leads the AL in ERA (2.56) and opponent batting average (.192), will face Detroit’s Matt Boyd. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games “No knock on the Dodgers or the Astros, they’re obviously both very good teams,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “I think this is the most balanced team and probably the biggest threat to anybody in baseball to win a World Series because they do kind of cover every facet of the game.”Cleveland’s streak has happened despite the team missing three of its best players: All-Star reliever Andrew Miller, All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley and second baseman Jason Kipnis. They’re all on the disabled list.“It’s just the next guy up,” Kipnis said. “It doesn’t matter who it is or what goes down. We like the depth that we have. We have the players that go out and compete each night and you’re going to win a lot of games when guys play with that attitude.”MILLER MOVINGMiller threw 30 pitches in a simulated game, a major step in his recovery from knee tendinitis. The team will see how Miller responds Tuesday before deciding the next move. Kipnis faced Miller during the workout and doubled off the left-hander.“After I fouled one off, I said, ‘I’ve already had a better at-bat than I have ever versus him in a game,’” Kipnis said. “He smiled at that one.”TRAINER’S ROOMTigers: RHP Jordan Zimmerman received an injection last week for the neck injury that’s bothered him since last season. He will begin a throwing program in the next few days, and Ausmus said Zimmerman will make a few more starts if there are no setbacks. Zimmerman is 8-12 with a 6.18 ERA in 27 starts. … OF Mikie Mahtook (sore left groin) was out of the lineup for the third straight day.Indians: Rookie CF Bradley Zimmer will undergo surgery on his broken left hand on Tuesday in New York. Zimmer got stepped on while diving into first base on Sunday. The Indians do not have a timetable on his return, but it’s safe to assume his season is over.UP NEXT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Nadal, Federer back at the top in 2017last_img read more

a month agoPellegrini delighted as ten-man West Ham draw with Aston Villa

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Pellegrini delighted as ten-man West Ham draw with Aston Villaby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManuel Pellegrini was pleased with West Ham United’s display with 10-men in Monday’s goalless draw with Aston Villa. The Hammers were left a man down when Arhtur Masuaku was shown his second yellow card with 23 minutes remaining.West Ham continued to push for a winner despite the numerical disadvantage, which impressed their manager.”I think that we gave a good performance, first because we came here and from the first minute of the game until the last minute we tried to win,” he said.”After that, with ten men, we continued trying to have the ball, and trying to have the opportunity to win the game. We didn’t just defend so I’m very happy with a lot of things tonight.”I don’t know if we played better with ten men, but the important thing was that it didn’t seem we had ten players. “We worked very well in defending, we had the personality to come here and try to win from the first minute.”We couldn’t do that, but with ten men it’s a good result.” last_img read more

NAFTA survives key round US grumbles but says it wants talks to

first_imgMONTREAL – The NAFTA renegotiation has survived a key round of talks, with the United States expressing some annoyance but hailing modest progress, promising future rounds, describing the trade pact as important and toning down the imminent withdrawal threats.The week-long round concluded Monday with the U.S. trade czar sharing the widespread assessment of others that the latest talks marked the first concrete examples of constructive dialogue on hot-button issues.The talks are now scheduled to continue for at least two more months, with rounds scheduled for Mexico City and Washington, before policy-makers confront a major dilemma: what to do during the spring, summer and fall as Mexico and the U.S. hold national elections.Robert Lighthizer expressed myriad frustrations Monday. The U.S. trade representative said he was unsatisfied with Canadian proposals on autos, calling the progress too slow, dismissing another Canadian idea as a “poison pill” and bemoaning a Canadian complaint to the World Trade Organization, a tactic he characterized as a “massive attack” against the U.S. trading system.On balance, however, he sounded like a man willing to give NAFTA a chance.“Some real headway was made here,” Lighthizer said.“The United States views NAFTA as a very important agreement. We’re committed to moving forward. I am hopeful progress will accelerate soon. We’ll work very hard between now and the beginning of the next round — and we hope for major breakthroughs in that period. We will engage both Mexico and Canada urgently, and we will go where these negotiations take us.”With just eight weeks left in the current schedule of talks, unfolding under President Donald Trump’s persistent threats to blow up the deal, the U.S. administration has important decisions to make about NAFTA’s future.The Montreal round represented a new phase for the negotiations. It included a first significant back-and-forth dialogue on autos and other major sticking points. Sources say there were three hours of talks over two days about the autos proposal.Lighthizer’s long-awaited verdict on the latest talks came at a public event alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ildefonso Guajardo of Mexico. The three held a series of face-to-face bilateral meetings before their final closed-door, three-way huddle.It was the first such group appearance since the trio’s memorably tense encounter in the fall.Numerous participants in the Montreal round were sounding cautiously optimistic in the lead-up to Monday’s closing statements, calling the latest talks less negative and more constructive than initial ones, with the first true dialogue on serious sticking points — autos, dispute resolution and a five-year review clause in particular.And there was the political dynamic: Freeland and Lighthizer went to great lengths to dispel the notion that the two don’t actually like each other — an impression created by frosty body language and rhetoric the last time the two shared the NAFTA stage last fall.Lighthizer described his counterparts as friends. He also shared fond memories of vacationing in the Montreal area with his family. Freeland was asked whether her relations with her U.S. counterpart might derail the talks and offered a one-word reply: “No.”“Without being overly optimistic, I am heartened by the progress,” Freeland said, citing the closing of an anti-corruption chapter and other constructive conversations.The U.S. statement was being closely parsed.Lighthizer rejected the newest proposals as presented, and even disparaged some of them. He was especially scathing in an aside apparently referring to trade in services, where Canada suggested a protectionist measure in response to a protectionist U.S. proposal.“If the United States had made (this proposal),” he said, “(it) would be dubbed a ‘poison pill.’”But one prominent stakeholder expressed little concern over the grumpier snippets from Lighthizer’s appearance. Flavio Volpe of the Canadian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association cast the U.S. representative’s reaction as purely tactical.“I think he’s a good negotiator,” Volpe said.“I don’t really take a lot of the stuff at face value. But it’s important for us to understand the sentiment. And the sentiment is, ‘We’re not satisfied, we’re not going to put our guard down, and we’ll see you in four weeks.’”The Canadian Chamber of Commerce also offered a mostly optimistic take on Monday’s events. President Perrin Beatty said he was encouraged by the progress reported, but tempered that by saying: “The work is far from over … and there is still no guarantee of success.”last_img read more

Before and after a storm the supply stores are critical

first_imgMIAMI – Before and after a hurricane, Ace is the place. And Home Depot and Lowe’s. And many other hardware and building supply outlets.Not surprisingly, these companies plan for storms such as Hurricane Florence all year. Much like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, supplies are pre-positioned and trucks loaded and ready to go with everything from batteries to gas cans to tarps to chainsaws.Here’s the thing: the government can only do so much. Most people must fend for themselves at some point, and the local hardware or building supply store is where they go. Not everything is available easily online. Try to buy some drywall that way.“It’s a year-round thing for us,” said Margaret Smith, spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Home Depot. “When it’s hurricane season, we are operating 24 hours a day.”As Florence bore down on the Southeast coast this week, Ace Hardware manager Tom Roberts watched as an employee finished five of the busiest days they have ever seen in their store in the tiny village of Calabash, North Carolina.They sold hundreds of gas cans and ran out of generators, but still had bottled water, sand bags and other items, Roberts said.“We’re going to be just as busy with clean up once this thing is gone,” he said.Home Depot and Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s, the two biggest home supply companies, both activated sophisticated emergency command centres that bring together various divisions to work on everything from shipping logistics to ensuring employees in hurricane zones get back on their feet. They have their own meteorologists on duty and are in contact with government agencies.The key is making sure the right supplies are ready at the right time, said Jennifer Thayer, Lowe’s vice-president for store operations in North and South Carolina. For example, people might need more gas cans and plywood before a hurricane and more wet/dry vacuum cleaners or tarps for damaged roofs after the storm, she said.And wind is one thing, while flooding is another in terms of what customers need.“We plan it out pre-storm. And then we start shifting into post-storm,” Thayer said. “We have the ability to put merchandise strategically in the stores. It depends on the event.”Smith said Home Depot has about 1,100 trucks loaded and ready to respond to its stores in the Carolinas and Georgia once Florence passes through. Lowe’s says on its website it has shipped some 2,700 truckloads of supplies to the area threatened by Florence.Both companies plan to open stores in the storm zone as soon as possible.“Our communities count on us in storm prep and then recovery in a very big way,” Smith said.Many of these chains can also bring in employees from other regions to substitute for those in storm-stricken areas, giving them time to deal with their own personal home damage or other issues from a storm. Sometimes the local workers can get financial assistance.For example, Smith said Home Depot will often provide grants to help pay for hotels or to fill gaps in insurance coverage for damage to an employee’s home. Thayer said Lowe’s has an employee relief fund for such circumstances.“People can request funds to help them if they can’t afford to get back on their feet,” Thayer said.In 2017, Home Depot had revenue of more than $100 billion. Lowe’s earned about $68 billion. Sales of hurricane-related materials spike before and after storms, but the profit is beside the point, Thayer said.“At the end of the day, it’s about the community, it’s about the stores,” she said._____Associated Press writer Jeffrey Collins in Calabash, North Carolina, contributed to this story.last_img read more